So how does this sound: You hop on an express elevator to the 65th floor of the towering 30 Rockefeller Plaza, make a right (go left and you’ll find yourself inside the legendary Rainbow Room), and step into a cocktail lounge that’s surrounded on three sides by a spacious balcony that also offers plenty of outdoor seating. You order a cocktail and some small plates and spend the evening listening to a live jazz band. Intrigued? Then head up to SixtyFive, which is thankfully still somewhat under the radar and offering its Gin & Jazz series on three Fridays in August: the 14th, the 21st, and the 28th. I had the opportunity to visit this past Friday, and would live at this place if I could.
The classy lounge, which typically serves cocktails that run in the $20 to $25 range (which is actually not a bad deal when you take into account that you’re essentially getting to visit the observation deck for free), offers cocktails that start at $18 during Gin & Jazz, with a two-drink minimum. They’re all gin-based (obviously); offerings include the Last Word (Dorothy Parker gin, Green Chartreuse, lime juice, Luxardo Maraschino, $18), Monkey Gland (Plymouth Gin, fresh-squeezed orange juice, maraschino cherry juice, absinthe rinse, $18), Aviation (Aviation gin, crème de violette, lemon juice, simple syrup, Luxardo Maraschino, $18), and a classic gin Gibson (Miller’s London dry gin, house-pickled cipollini onion, $24). If you’re looking for something that isn’t gin-based, their everyday cocktail list is also full of perfect summer libations, like the $24 Papa Doble, with Banks 5 Island rum, fresh lime, fresh grapefruit, and Luxardo Maraschino.
As for the food, while it’s not exactly a restaurant, there are plenty of options for those looking for something to nosh on. There’s a full sushi bar; snacks include potato chips with white truffle and potato espuma and roasted spiced nuts; and small plates comprise spicy tuna tacos, oysters, and langoustine tartare. Larger offerings include Iberico ham croquetas; crispy triple-fried potatoes (a showstopper); fried chicken and waffles with whipped smoked onion butter; a Parmigiano-Reggiano cracker “pizza” topped with olives, tomatoes, and basil; and wagyu beef sliders with caramelized onion, braised short rib, and Cabot sharp Cheddar. There’s also a solid variety of cheese and charcuterie.
Mary Alouette & The Crew will perform on August 14, the Brooklyn Bluegrass Collective will play on August 21, and on August 28, The Bailsmen will take the stage. Entertainment is provided from 5 to 9 p.m.